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Part Four of Practical Mid-Career Teaching Reflections: Guest Speakers and Tutorials, Justin Robertson, Faculty Focus, Dec 17, 2020

I've been a guest speaker in quite a number of classes over the years, and of course I've invited a lot of guest speakers to various MOOCs. So I'm supportive of the guest speaker format. This article has several useful pieces of advice. First, it's useful to link the speaker to the course content. Second, it's often better to do an interview rather than to sit through a 60 minute lecture. And third, have students act as discussants, conducting the interview themselves. The ... [Direct Link]

: What's Next for MOOCs, Dec 12, 2020
[article] Edited transcript of a talk looking at the recent resurgence of MOOCs and describes this growth (despite claims that they are 'dead'), shows how they are providing access to micro-credentials and skills-based learning, and explains how they are and will be improving in terms of student engagement and completion, offering as a proposal the development of "micro-MOOCs" to provide greater access and flexibility for MOOC-based learning.
Enclosure: Slide1.PNG

Learning Isn’t an Algorithm , Flower Darby, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Dec 03, 2020

Justin Reich has been getting a lot of press lately. I'm sure he's making some good points, though as usual this review will have to suffice until an open-access version of his book comes out (some people have budgets for books like this; I don't). For now I will just ask whether I am the only one to notice the incongruity of some MIT professor publishing at Harvard University Press (reviewed by Stanford Social Innovation Review) lecturing us about inequality. One wonders whether ... [Direct Link]

Integrating micro-learning content in traditional e-learning platforms, Rebeca P. Díaz Redondo, Manuel Caeiro Rodríguez, Juan José López Escobar, Ana Fernández Vilas, Multimedia Tools and Applications, Nov 27, 2020

I referenced this paper a couple of times in a talk I gave, and while it doesn't make precisely the point I wanted to make, it's quite good, and leads us straight to it. The concept I was talking about was the Micro-MOOC (which has many antecedents, such as the SPLOT or Microlearning, but is in other ways very much its own thing). This article was focused on personalizing MOOCs, but it does so using the micro-learning approach from traditional LMSs as well as Learning Tools ... [Direct Link]

FutureLearn team up with Microsoft for online AI course, Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, Nov 18, 2020

I like the commentary more than the news. "Why would FutureLearn be giving away vouchers for sitting Microsoft exams?" asks Graham Attwell. "It could be because the 15 week course costs 584 Euros to enroll.  Much as I like microcredentially, this seems a long way from FutureLearn’s past MOOCs free for participation." No kidding. And as he says, " if as the course information claims, 'artificial intelligence skills are frequently listed among the most in-... [Direct Link]

Higher education platforms and cloud infrastructures in the ‘dataist state’, Ben Williamson, Code Acts in Education, Nov 13, 2020

Ben Williamson asks, "What does this increase in the participation of private platform actors signify for teaching and learning in universities, for the public role of higher education, and for the lives of students?" One thing: intelligent networks, "universities being connected to interoperable cloud and data systems provided by giant infrastructure partners in new public-private partnership configurations." Another: the use of cloud services to offer online courses and ... [Direct Link]

Open Educational Resources and Practices in China: A Systematic Literature Review , Ahmed Tlili, Ronghuai Huang, Ting-Wen Chang, Fabio Nascimbeni, Daniel Burgos, Sustainability, Sept 27, 2020

This article is based on a formal literature review and so may be missing some useful primary sources, but any information we can get on OER in China is worth a look. "The findings show that several governmental, organizational, and institutional initiatives have been launched to facilitate OER adoption in China," including the Chinese Quality Course (CQC), the  the National Cultural Information Resources Sharing Project (NCIRSP), and the the Science Data Sharing Project (SDSP). ... [Direct Link]

The UnMOOCing Process: Extending the Impact ofMOOC Educational Resources as OERs, José A. Ruipérez-Valiente, Sergio Martin, Justin Reich, Manuel Castro, Sustainability, Sept 27, 2020

This post presents "a process that we call ‘unMOOCing’, in which we transform the resources of a MOOC into OERs." Now of course MOOCs should all be open educational resources (OER) in the first place (it's in the name!) but of course certain private MOOC companies have (as they say) 'pivoted' to closed open resources. "Through the unMOOCing process, course developers can find new audiences for their learning resources. Republishing content in new formats ... [Direct Link]

How philanthropy benefits the super-rich, Paul Vallely, The Guardian, Sept 08, 2020

Over the years I've seen a lot of influence from foundations in the areas of pedagogy, policy, and open educational resources. Most of it, including especially money for international development, seems to flow toward the expert fundraisers at institutions like Harvard, Stanford and MIT. And instead of promoting access and inclusion, it supports models where free and open public resources, like MOOCs and OERs, become 'sustainable' private commercial goods. As this Guardian article ... [Direct Link]

Measurement of the MOOC Phenomenon by Pre-Service Teachers: A Descriptive Case Study , José Gómez-Galán, Cristina Lázaro-Pérez, José Ángel Martínez-López, Eloy López-Meneses, Education Sciences, Aug 20, 2020

"There have been multiple studies and research on MOOC courses," write the authors, but "we consider that there is one of them that should be further explored due to its great interest. By this, we mean understanding better how their main users value them: students." This is because despite the shortcomings found by experts (which have been numerous), MOOCs are enduringly popular nonetheless. This is a small study (16 page PDF), but the composition - pre-service teachers - ... [Direct Link]

By the Numbers: MOOCs During the Pandemic, Dahwal Shah, Class Central, Aug 17, 2020

We all know MOOCs have become much more popular during the pandemic; this is the data to support the assertion. "The top three MOOC providers (Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn) registered as many new users in April as in the whole of 2019. Over the years, the providers have become better at monetization, but in terms of new registered users they had hit a growth wall, adding a similar number of users in both 2019 and 2018. The pandemic broke through that wall. Around 25-30% of their total ... [Direct Link]

LXPs are possibly the Dungeons & Dragons of the Learning World, Shreyas Korad, Upside Learning, Aug 14, 2020

A lot of my early thinking about online learning was based on my experience with online role-playing games (RPG) such as MUDs - Multi-User Dungeons - which were open-ended online multi-user gaming environments (here's me doing a presentation in one at Diversity University in 1995; here's a CADE conference we ran in our own MUD in 1996). They contrasted well with the linear content-heavy media of email list servers and Usenet discussion boards. Learning Management Systems, however... [Direct Link]

What do we mean by ‘open’?, Gráinne Hamilton, Medium, We Are Open Co-op, Aug 11, 2020

I think this account of 'open' is far better than one that rests on the 5Rs. This account of open actually strives toward openness rather than simply granting rights to those lucky enough to be in possession of a resource. Here are the principles, as defined by transparency, inclusivity, adaptability, collaboration, community. This article is focused on providing examples of governments and institutions being open. The governments include Sweden and the U.K., British ... [Direct Link]

OpenAI technology, just an HTTPS call away, OpenAI, Jul 28, 2020

There are numerous educational examples of GPT-3 on the OpenAI API page. This is a beta of a service that will allow applications to send requests via API to the service and use their AI to perform tasks such as "semantic search, summarization, sentiment analysis, content generation, translation, and more." I've signed up for a beta account and if accepted will use the service to support MOOCs on gRSShopper and trying to auto-generate AI-authored open educational resources (OER). ... [Direct Link]

The Role of MOOCs in Humanitarian Affairs, Draego Zubiri, FutureLearn, Jul 10, 2020

The answer is: they help, but aren't enough by themselves. They are "not always sufficient in providing the holistic support needed by these vulnerable populations. Learners may need additional face to face support and require additional scaffolding through their learner journey in order for such provision to be effective. [Direct Link]

2.5x Global MOOC Web Traffic, Holon IQ, Jul 08, 2020

Just for the record, "MOOC's attracted almost 500 million visits from learners around the world in the last 30 days." The short article continues, "MOOCs were never dead. This is not a come-back. Gradually, and accelerated by the circumstances of COVID-19, the current and potential role of MOOCs in the post-secondary landscape is becoming more widely understood. [Direct Link]

There is no content., nick shackleton-jones, aconventional, Jun 26, 2020

This is a lesson we learned back in the days when we werte first offering MOOCs, and it has (to my estimation) taken quite a while for the wider community to catch up. As Nick Shackleton-Jones writes, "There really are only two things you can do: you can present a challenge (which will drive learning), or you can provide resources that people can pull on when they are challenged. A resource can be a map, a person, Google, a checklist, a video, a guide…" Exactly. "You ... [Direct Link]

Remote education and the quarantine: My view, Antonio Vantaggiato, Skate of the Web, Jun 21, 2020

I'm not sure exactly what Antonio Vantaggiato is saying here, but two messages seem to come through: first, the pivot to online wasn't awful for everybody; and second, his own "immodest best practices: All interaction and course work orbit around the Web hub (for instance, the New Media course, It is a syndicated hub where students’ contributions get aggregated from their own blogs. emphasis on word 'own': meaning, the blogs and posts therein are theirs... [Direct Link]

Scaling up behavioral science interventions in online education, René F. Kizilcec, Justin Reich, Michael Yeomans,, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jun 21, 2020

As Jonathan Kantrowitz summarizes, "Researchers tracked 250,000 students from nearly every country in 250 massive open online courses (MOOCs) over 2 1/2 years in the study." What they found was that interventions that appeared to work in the short term were much less effective in the long term. The researchers also "found minimal evidence that state-of-the-art machine learning methods can forecast the occurrence of a global gap or learn effective individualized intervention ... [Direct Link]

Lumen Learning Intros Professional Development Program for Faculty, Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology, Jun 18, 2020

The offering "Lumen Circles combines an online learning platform with 'facilitated fellowships' that connect faculty with peers to form a virtual community of practice." It's the sort of thing that might be useful - basically a peer-to-peer learning experience. A lot like one of our cMOOCs. "It's not enough simply to adopt a new textbook or learning tool," commented David Wiley, co-founder and chief academic officer of Lumen Learning. "They need more ... [Direct Link]

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Last Updated: Jan 06, 2021 2:35 p.m.